Diet Soda-Mixed Drinks Result in Higher Breath Alcohol Levels

(HealthDay News) – Mixing alcohol with diet soft drinks results in higher breath alcohol concentrations (BrACs) than equivalent amounts of alcohol mixed with sugar-sweetened beverages, according to a study published online Dec. 6 in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

Cecile A. Marczinski, PhD, and Amy L. Stamates, from Northern Kentucky University in Highland Heights, measured BrACs in 16 participants following consumption of a randomly assigned beverage (1.97mL/kg vodka mixed with 3.94mL/kg Squirt; 1.97mL/kg vodka mixed with 3.94mL/kg diet Squirt; or a placebo beverage). Participants received one drink in each of three sessions. Self-reported ratings of subjective intoxication, fatigue, impairment, and willingness to drive were also recorded.

The researchers found that, compared with the alcohol + regular beverage condition, BrACs were significantly higher in the alcohol + diet beverage drink condition (mean peak BrAC, 0.091g/210 l in the alcohol + diet condition vs. 0.077g/210 l in the alcohol + regular drink condition). The greatest impairment based on a cued go/no-go task performance was seen for the alcohol + diet beverage condition. No significant differences were seen in subjective ratings for the two alcohol conditions, indicating that participants seemed unaware of the differences in the alcohol conditions. There were no gender differences noted for BrACs or objective and subjective measures.

“In conclusion, the elevation in BrAC associated with diet mixers warrants greater consideration, and consumers should be made aware of this phenomenon,” the authors write.

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